1 December 2022

Bharat Jodo Diary (Midday)


By Pawan Khera and Manish Khanduri

For once it wasn’t that cold as the Yatris began Day 85 of the #BharatJodoYatra, and whatever cold they felt soon disappeared in the brisk 14 kilometre walk from the RD Medical College to their midday break at Nazarpur village.

The walk was along a highway; parts of it still under construction, and through mostly a rural landscape, wheat fields on either side with the occasional village in the way. It was mostly in these rural habitations that the Yatris encountered the locals who’d come to witness them pass by.

All of the Congress party and its leaders have been engaged in what is a tremendous effort to bring the #BharatJodoYatra to the people. Every single Congress person deserves credit for the program. But what we have also observed is the tremendous pull one individual holds with masses regardless of which state we’re in. Thus today we met Pooja, Chandni and Vinod who’d come from Thapla Rewari village and were patiently standing in the winter cold. “We’ve been waiting for a long time,” they said. Why were they there? “We’ve come to see saab (Rahul Gandhi)” they said simply.

Left to right: Chandni, Vinod and Pooja have been “standing for a long time to meet saab (Rahul Gandhi)”. Photo credit: Ajay Thakur

Soon after we met Noor Jahan at Piplai village, who’d come from Ratlam, more than a hundred kilometres away. “I only want to meet Rahul Gandhi once,” she said “Can you arrange that for me?” She went on to add, “I pray to God he becomes Prime Minister, that’s the only way this country can change for the better.”

Noor Jehan (foreground, seated) came all the way from Ratlam on the off chance that she could meet Rahul Gandhi. Photo credit: Ajay Thakur

Earlier in the morning – in fact very early, for they had to awaken at 1:30am – a group of Bharat Yatris took advantage of proximity for a darshan at the nearby famous Mahakaleshwar temple, and also saw the renowned Bhasmarti there. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity” says Devendra Sharma, Bharat Yatri, “The feeling of peace had to be experienced.”

The Yatris were joined for their morning walk by actress Swara Bhaskar and members of the Malwa Kisan Sanghatan.

Currently in the state of Madhya Pradesh, the Bharat Jodo Yatra is a five month, 3500 kilometre long Padyatra from Kanyakumari in the South of India to Kashmir up in the North. It is part of the party’s national mass outreach program aimed at highlighting social polarisation, economic inequalities and political centralisation.

Ground research: Aparna Ashwarya (INC Communications Department research team)

Midday Travel Facts

1. District names: Ujjain
2. Ujjain district is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in India. The famous Mahakaleshwar temple is located in Ujjain city and has one of the 12 jyotirlingas in India.
3. Another important site is Ram-Janardan mandir.
4. Great works on astronomy such as the Surya Siddhanta and the Panch Siddhanta were written in Ujjain.
5. Ujjain district is home to Ujjain town, one of the Hindu pilgrimage centres famous for the Kumbh mela.
6. The district has one of the largest viscose staple fiber manufacturers in Asia.
7. The city is the birthplace of great national poet Kavi Pradeep.